As a peer specialist, your role is to develop relationships that allow peers to name their own experiences in order to reclaim power and control over their own lives. It‘s crucial that peer specialists examine their own ways of interacting to make sure their actions do not create barriers to this growth and healing in the persons they serve.
Building rapport is the first step. Rapport is the ability to relate to others in a way that creates a level of trust and understanding. It is important to build rapport with your client/peer so s/he feels comfortable, valued and understood.
Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of unconscious human interaction. It is commonly considered as being in “sync” or being on the same “wavelength” as the person with whom you are interacting. There are a number of techniques that are beneficial in building rapport such as: matching your body language (ie, posture, gesture, and so forth); maintaining eye contact; and matching breathing rhythm.